21 Mar 2012

Fund set up to continue Easy Rider search

11:15 am on 21 March 2012

A fund has been set up keep an unofficial search going for four people missing from the sinking of the a fishing boat in Foveaux Strait.

The Easy Rider sank after being hit by a large wave in Foveaux Strait on Thursday, leaving eight people presumed dead.

Of the nine on board the boat when it went down almost a week ago, only one person survived.

Dallas Reedy spent 18 hours clinging to a petrol can in freezing seas before he was rescued.

Fourteen volunteers and police officers are continuing to search the coastline of Ruapuke Island, halfway between the South and Stewart Islands, but the full-scale search has been suspended.

Bluff Community Board chairperson Jan Mitchell says it is important for the families that the unofficial air and sea search is allowed to continue, as recovering the bodies will help bring closure.

Donations to the search fund can be made at any branch of Westpac bank.